UrbCultural Planning (UCP) is funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region-program which runs from Januari 2019- June 2021, and it’s a project that aims to strengthen the innovation capacity of public sector authorities, knowledge intermediaries and communities in the Baltic Sea Region to deal with pressing urban societal problems and challenges. The project’s main goal is to use culture and creativity to improve life in the areas around the Baltic Sea region. They want to work with cultural planning through collaboration with local NGOs and associations. They were therefore looking for artists, designers or other creatives to apply and participate in this project in one of the 7 countries that were presented in the application form: Latvia (Riga), Russia (Kaliningrad), Lithuania (Gedimas Technical University),  Finland (City of Pori), Denmark (Guldborgsund municipality), Poland (Gdansk City Cultural Institute), Germany (Boell-Foundation). Residencies for artists are organized to have a fresh view on the potentials of the neighborhoods and games will be used to involve children and young people to empower their creativity in finding the best solutions for local challenges as well as finding new opportunities.

SIMKA got admitted through Intercult to the residency in Riga! The Swedish artistic duet SIMKA (Simon Häggblom and Karin Lind) took part in the Urban Cultural Planning residency program in Riga, Latvia. The residency was hosted during the Kometa Festival between 20th of July and 11th of August. Central to SIMKAs work is the investigation and creation of different rooms and places for human interaction. They work in different tension fields between urbanity and nature. “Human and tree” is about the relationship between people and trees and the trees metaphorical value, for example that when people die the trees remain. Human and tree was about working with different techniques such as drawing, wiring, performing, storytelling, walks etc. SIMKA combines different skills of visual art, set design and landscape architecture. They have also worked with urban development and citizen projects.

Earlier SIMKA has done a lot of different workshops, film producing, performances, exhibitions, for example in San Sebastian, Reims and Umeå (when Umeå was the European Capital of Culture). This is an example of what kind of collaborations that Intercult gladly wants to mediate.

Read more about SIMKA on their homepage here.